Audio Version (09:33)
In all of the corporate training sessions I’ve delivered in the last two years involving thousands of delegates, one comment I frequently hear is, ‘Why is menopause ‘all of a sudden’ a thing? My mum went through it, and she never made a fuss! All of this nonsense is so over the top!’
In recent times, menopause has burst into the limelight. It’s a significant shift from the days when this natural life stage was rarely discussed openly and was a completely taboo topic, especially in polite conversation!
But why is menopause suddenly becoming a topic of conversation when, for decades, it was shrouded in silence? The answer is complex and multifaceted.
In this article, we will explore the diverse range of factors contributing to the newfound attention on menopause.
To watch the extended YouTube version, click here.
From challenging stigma and evolving gender roles to delayed motherhood and caregiving responsibilities, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this sudden and vital conversation.
Breaking the Stigma:
Historically, menopause has been surrounded by stigma, misunderstanding, and even ridicule. Society’s perception of ageing and the natural process of menopause often came with a set of negative stereotypes.
Women, in particular, were expected to endure menopausal symptoms silently and with a sense of resignation. However, in recent years, this outdated perspective has been actively challenged.
Empowering Women’s Voices:
The feminist movement and the broader conversation about gender equality have played a pivotal role in empowering women to speak up about their experiences. Women are no longer willing to accept the silence surrounding their health concerns and have become vocal advocates for themselves and others.
Online communities, support groups, and social media have provided platforms for women to share their stories and seek advice. These virtual spaces have fostered a sense of belonging and empowerment, allowing women to break the silence and connect with others going through similar experiences.
Evolving Gender Roles and Careers:
One of the significant factors contributing to the increased discussion around menopause is the changing landscape of gender roles and women’s careers. Women are now pursuing careers in unprecedented numbers, and they are doing so across a wide range of fields. This shift has led to more women experiencing menopause while actively engaged in the workforce.
Unlike previous generations, many women today continue their careers well into their 50s, 60s and beyond. This prolonged engagement in the workforce means that a significant portion of the female workforce may be navigating menopause while balancing demanding professional responsibilities.
As the number of women in the workforce continues to grow, there is a growing awareness among employers about the importance of addressing menopause-related issues. Companies are recognising the need to provide accommodations and support for employees experiencing menopausal symptoms, leading to more conversations about the topic.
Another crucial factor contributing to the increased visibility of menopause is the trend of delayed motherhood. Many women today are waiting until their 30s or 40s to start families. This delay means that they may be experiencing menopause when their children are still relatively young.
Extended Parenting Years:
The trend of extended parenting years has also played a significant role in bringing menopause to the forefront of public conversation. Adult children now stay home longer for various reasons, such as pursuing higher education or facing economic challenges.
This extended parenting phase often coincides with the onset of menopause for many women.
Women who are still parenting adult children while experiencing menopause may find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities. The physical and emotional toll of menopause can be compounded by the demands of caregiving for both ageing parents, young and adult children.
Navigating menopause while still actively parenting can bring about complex emotions. Women may feel torn between their roles as caregivers and their need for self-care and support during this life transition.
Caring Responsibilities for Aging Parents:
In addition to parenting responsibilities, many women are also taking on caregiving roles for their ageing parents. This phenomenon, often referred to as the “SANDWICH GENERATION”, places additional stress on women who are already dealing with menopausal symptoms.
Providing care for ageing parents can also have financial implications, including the need to take time off work or allocate resources to support their parents’ needs. These financial pressures can add to the challenges women face during menopause.
Evolving Household Roles and Responsibilities:
As traditional gender roles continue to evolve, so do household responsibilities. Often, women are no longer solely responsible for domestic duties, such as childcare and housework. Partners increasingly share these responsibilities, allowing women to focus on their careers and personal growth.
However, that’s not always the case and may mean that women may be experiencing menopause while managing a range of responsibilities.
Many women are now navigating menopause while working full-time, sharing household responsibilities, and actively participating in their children’s lives. This delicate balancing act can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion.
Impact on Relationships:
The evolving roles and responsibilities within households can have both positive and negative effects on relationships. Open communication and support from partners can be crucial for women experiencing menopause while managing a busy household.
The Wrap Up
The sudden and increased visibility of menopause in general conversation and in the media is a reflection of the profound societal changes and evolving attitudes towards women’s health.
Breaking the stigma, challenging traditional gender roles, pursuing careers, delayed motherhood, caregiving responsibilities, and evolving household dynamics have all contributed to this shift.
By openly discussing menopause and its unique challenges, we can better support women in their careers, relationships, and overall well-being. It’s a testament to women’s resilience and their determination to have their voices heard.
As we continue to destigmatise and normalise conversations about menopause, we move closer to a future where every woman can navigate this natural transition with confidence, grace, and the support she deserves.
Menopause is no longer a silent transition but a conversation that demands attention, understanding, and empathy.
As it was Menopause Awareness Day on Wednesday, 18 October, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve released several articles and extended videos on this important topic.
ANDROPAUSE – the male version of menopause (coming Friday, 27 October 2023)
I’ll also be interviewing Justin Powlesland for the channel. He’ll be actively sharing his experience of Andropause (the effects of a dramatic decline in testosterone). You can read more about his journey here.
So, if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to this newsletter AND to my YouTube channel to watch extended versions and upcoming videos, including special guests.
Training and Coaching Support
I have a 4-week online course specifically designed to support menopausal people. For more information, click here. For 10% off all of my online e-learning courses, use coupon code YOUTUBE10 at checkout.
I also work with people going through menopause on a one-to-one basis, both private and corporate clients. If you would like to hear more, please DM or email me at email@example.com for information.
As always, thanks for your continued support.